Decide Which Content to Include on Your Blog’s Navigation Menu

By Melissa Culbertson

Determining what content to highlight in your blog’s navigation menu ties to what you want to accomplish with your blog. A blog’s navigation menu must include an Advertising or PR link if you plan to partner with companies (for product reviews, advertising, or partnerships), while a Products or Services link is a must-have if you plan on offering products or services on your blog.

1Include links on your blog’s navigation menu to important content

If you have key categories of content that you don’t want new visitors to miss, add them to your blog navigation menu. The Young House Love navigation menu, for example, showcases large buckets of content that guide both new and returning visitors to some of the blog’s most popular content as well as a link to their personal blog.

To guide you along with the decision of what to include on your blog’s navigation menu, start by evaluating the pages, categories, and content you already have (or plan to create). Then ask yourself two questions: What content and information might visitors want to access quickly? and What content do I want readers to discover?

Resist filling your navigation menu with less appealing pages, like a privacy policy or disclosure. Save those for your blog’s footer, secondary navigation, or elsewhere within your blog design.

2Explore secondary navigation for your blog’s menu

Creating a navigation menu for your blog design starts off as an easy enough task, but after you start really thinking about what to include, you may end up with more menu items than you have room for. This especially holds true if you have a lot of content.

That’s when you need to use a secondary navigation menu, which contains content that (although important) doesn’t serve the primary goal of your blog. If your content can’t be contained within a single menu, decide which menu items should go in the primary navigation and which should go in the secondary. Use the secondary navigation for the more general links, like your About page and Contact page.

The blog No Meat Athlete splits the navigation by saving the primary navigation for key topics that interest the blog’s target audience. The secondary menu is still easy to find, but the design signifies its lesser role by being tucked in the upper part of the page and using smaller text than the main navigation menu.

3Take care when naming item’s for your blog’s navigation menu

A mistake that many bloggers make is to create menu items that are just too clever. Visitors are unofficially trained to spot pages like About Me. So, if you get a little “creative” and name your About page something like The Lone Tomato, no one is going to know what on earth you’re talking about.

A navigation menu’s ultimate goal is to guide visitors throughout your blog, so stick to names that make sense.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be super-plain either. If using just vanilla “About” is too bland for you, you might try using Who’s name?, Hi! I’m name, Meet name, About Me, or About blog name.

People love to see your personality shine through, so go ahead and have a little fun with your navigation menu names. Just don’t go too off-the-wall. Whatever a menu’s title, the wording should cause the reader to pause and try to figure out your meaning. For example, Buy Awesome Stuff obviously leads to a shop of some sort.

One way to incorporate personality is to use subtitles for your navigation menu items. Geraldine from The Everywhereist sticks with simple titles but shows her personality through playful subtitles, such as About, How I got roped into this blogging mess. And how to contact me.